Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Kanakkupillai

When someone passes away, their assets are divided up according to the terms of their will. However, if a person passes away intestate—without leaving a will—in such a circumstance, the property will be allocated by the legislation depending on his or her faith.

The Hindu Succession Act controls the succession of Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh dynasties. The Indian Succession Act handles Christian succession, whereas Muslim succession is governed by Islamic law. In this article, we will learn how assets are distributed when a Hindu, Jain, Sikh, or Buddhist dies intestate—that is, without a will—and falls within the jurisdiction of the Hindu Succession Act.

In contrast to a male decedent’s intestate death, a female decedent’s intestate death is subject to different distribution regulations under the Hindu Succession Act. The next section discusses how assets were divided between males and females.

Unrepresented Succession in the Event of a Male Decedent

Suppose a male dies intestate without leaving a will. In that case, his assets will be divided under the Hindu Succession Act, and the property will be given to the deceased person’s legitimate heirs. A further division into classes I and II is made for the legal heirs.

Class I Heirs:

The male’s close family members make up Class I heirs. Wife, son, daughter, and mother are all part of it. The portion will be divided evenly among everyone in this class.

Unrepresented Succession in the Event of a Male Decedent


  • Concerning the late son:

The son’s wife and children will assume his position and hold the same rights as he had. However, if there are two children, they will be treated as a single unit, and each gets a joint share that they can divide among one another. And it will be valid for another two generations or till great-grandchildren.

For instance,

  1. Grand Father
  2. Grand Mother (Wife of A)
  3. Son
  4. Wife of Son (Daughter-in-law)
  5. Grandson
  6. Grand Daughter.

If A passes away without leaving a will, his son C and his wife B will inherit the property with an equal portion, or one-half each.

However, if C was not alive and A passed away without leaving a will, then B, D, E, and F would be entitled to the property. where each of B, D, (E & F) will receive a third of the property. As a result, E & F will each own 1/6 of the total.

  • About the late daughter

The dead daughter’s children will take her place and will be entitled to her portion in the same manner as she was. And it will be valid for another two generations or till great-grandchildren. The deceased daughter’s spouse, however, has no claim to her portion.

  1. Grand Father
  2. Grand Mother (Wife of A)
  3. Daughter
  4. Husband of Daughter (Son-in-law)
  5. Grandson
  6. Grand Daughter.

If A passes away without leaving a will, his daughter C and his wife B inherit the property with an equal portion (i.e., one-half each).

The claim to the property would instead pass to B, E, and F if C had died and A had passed away without leaving a testament. Where B, (E & F) will split the property 50/50. As a result, E and F will each receive a quarter of the total.

Class II Heirs: Absence of Class I Heirs

If the class I heirs are absent, as stated above, the class II heirs will be entitled to the dead person’s property.

The numerous relatives are divided into groups and organized into a hierarchy, making up the class II heirs. Priority is given to the person ranked above; if even one member of the higher (preceding) group is still accessible, all of the property will go to the members of that category, and none will go to the person ranked after them (succeeding). But if no one in the higher (preceding) category is available, it will be given to the people in the category behind them (succeeding).

In this case, if none of the members of class I—the mother, wife, and children—are accessible, the rights will be granted to those in class II. the father is entitled to all the property since he is ranked first. However, if he passes away, he will eventually move to the next group, which includes the grandchildren, brother, and sister. Here, the property will be split evenly among the three, or by 1/3 each. It will pass to the agnates first, followed by the cognates, if neither the class I nor class II heirs are accessible by accident.

Succession when Female Dies

Females now have the same inheritance rights that men have according to the Act’s 2005 modification. Her property is distributed differently from a man’s, though.

If a woman inherits or acquires property, she is the only owner. Before, during, or after the marriage, even before the Act’s start, whatever property she gained or inherited, whether it be movable or immovable, shall be deemed her “Stridhana.”

A woman’s possessions will be dispersed under the Hindu Succession Act if she passes away intestate, that is, without leaving a will.

The Act states that her husband, son, daughter, and grandchildren shall have first claim to her assets, but only if the children are deceased.

If she is not married, her parents will be granted the privilege.

In the absence of the individuals, as mentioned earlier, Unlike the male succession laws, where the heirs were separated into two groups of heirs, there are no classes in this situation. Although a hierarchy defines the distribution of assets, The person who comes first on the list will be chosen above the person who comes second. It will only go to the next rank in line if the higher rank is absent.

Nevertheless, there is a variation in how the property is distributed based on its acquisition. Three methods for acquiring the property are self-acquisition, parent-inheritance, and husband- or father-in-law-inheritance. The distribution of the three is slightly different.Unrepresented Succession in the Event of a Male Decedent
Using the graph above as a guide


In the first scenario, where the girl has self-acquired property, if she is married and her husband and children have passed away, the property will be allocated by the chart, with the husband’s heirs having priority. But if she is single, we use the earlier chart and exclude the husband-applicable one. Therefore, the parents—both mother and father—will equally divide the assets of an unmarried girl. In addition, the father’s heirs, who are next in line, will be entitled to her property in the absence of the parents, and so on.

From the parent’s lineage:

The next topic is parental inheritance. In this case, even if the girl is married, the property will not pass to the husband’s heirs in the absence of children and a spouse. Only the heirs of the father and subsequent generations will receive property as an inheritance from the parents. The same holds if the female is single because, by default, there aren’t any kids or a husband.

From the father-in-side: law’s

Similar to inheritance from parents, in the event of inheritance from a married woman’s husband or father-in-law, the property will only be transmitted to the husband’s heirs if the husband and children are not alive. Even if the girl’s parents are in the hierarchy, they won’t receive it.

General Provision- Applicable to all

  • Right of a child in the womb: The rights of an unborn child are the same as those of a born kid. Therefore, in the event of a property split, a pregnant widow’s unborn child will be considered a separate entity and will have similar rights in the portion of the deceased person’s property as will the widow.
  • Hindu at the time of Succession: A person and their offspring will no longer be considered the legal heirs of their Hindu family and will not be eligible to inherit if they change to another faith. They will, however, be eligible once again if they are Hindu when the succession begins.
  • Relinquishment of right: A person can give up or depart her claim to the property if she no longer wants it.
  • Specific disqualification: Someone ceases to be a lawful heir if they have been expressly prohibited from inheriting the property.
  • Murdered Disqualified: A person is not eligible to be the legal successor of another person if they are found guilty of committing murder or participating in the murder.
  • Disease, defect, etc. No one may be denied the right to inherit because of a sickness, flaw, or deformity.
  • Re-marriage of Widow: The widow of the deceased will not lose her right to be an heir to the deceased’s property if she marries again. However, the widow of the son or brother will forfeit her claim to succeed to the decedent’s property if she marries again at the time of succession.
  • Absence of Heir: The government will inherit the property’s rights in the absence of any heirs at all.

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